Zimbabwe has made significant inroads in the Middle East tourism market following local players’ attendance of the just ended Arabian Travel Market expo in Dubai.

The expo offered an opportunity for Zimbabwe to tell its unique story and the response from the Middle East was overwhelming.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr Godfrey Koti said more information still needs to be sent out to the Arabian market and this calls for local tourism industry players to start capitalising on the inroads that have so far been made.

“I would like to urge the Zimbabwe tourism industry to take some time and come out and learn more about the market, there are a lot of opportunities in it. People are asking about Zimbabwe, they need more information. It is not going to be done by the ZTA alone, it is a job that requires us to unite to be able to put a good face as far as the perception of Zimbabwe as a destination is concerned. We would like to call on people who use social media to take time to reflect on some statements, pictures and content they put out. It must be content that ultimately promotes the goodness and beauty of our country,” he said.

Media professionals from Kenya, Dubai and India have registered a keen interest to showcase Zimbabwe to the world through digital interactive platforms.

“I spent a month in Zimbabwe back in 2014 and I have very fond memories of my time in the country. Victoria Falls was my starting point of call. My favorite site was however the Great Zimbabwe, one of the greatest constructions in Africa, remarkably built without any mortar. I love the people, they were so gentle and friendly from the people who came to the bus trying to sell you something to the people who served you food in hotels. I have so many wonderful memories of the country and it is a destination I would recommend people to visit,” Shane Dallas, Founder the Travel Camel Kenya, said.

“My advice to the tourism sector in Zimbabwe is to make promotional efforts to market the country in the UAE market. Zimbabwe has so many things to offer from nice lodges to wildlife and African heritage sites,” said Naved Hassan, an Associate Editor for Holiday Guide Dubai.

“We will be in Zimbabwe soon and showcase what the country has to offer and I guarantee the demand for Zimbabwe in the Indian market is going to be massive. So far our connection with Zimbabwe is through cricket and we are hoping we can explore a lot more through wildlife and culture, and we hope to play a part and bridge the gap and bring the two countries together and have more people from India to Zim,” said Mr Rahul Jagtiani, the Managing Partner for Plush Places Travel Show India.

The Zimbabwe tourism industry this year targets to contribute an ambitious US$3 billion to the national fiscus compared to US$1.3 billion realised last year and fares such as the Arabian Travel Market expo presents a great opportunity for Zimbabwe to meet its growth target.